10th-29th October 2011

School of Health Sciences
Kampala International University, Bushenyi, Uganda

Friday, 9 September 2011

On how to get cheap laptops for a course in Uganda

If you ever want to organize a neuroscience course in Uganda, then you will realize of all the things you need to get, how much they cost, and how it is possible to get them cheaper. A starter are the computers. Best is obviously to get laptops, as big PCs are difficult to transport. Now I have come across two different ways to get cheap laptops. A somehow more straight forward, and a bit more expensive way (which I didn't use, but I want people to know about it), is to apply to some computers in this link Computer Aid, where you can get a dual core laptop for £85. As the course I am organizing is under a bit of a limited budget, and as I am a very lucky person surrounded by a generous world. I got 15 old not working IBM laptops from the FMI research institute in Basel, somehow I brought them over to the UK in an low-cost airline flight, and to the lab. (with the help of Marco Tripodi on the Swiss side, and Pedro Saavedra at the UK side). Then, with the invaluable help of Gerit Linneweber (see picture), we (rather, he), tested them, found what was wrong (most of the times either the main board, or the screen were the problem), exchanged pieces (mostly screens) of some of them with others, and managed to get 6 fully working laptops. So far the cost was nearly £0, well it cost me a bit to transport them, so lets say £20 per computer. We then needed to put some hard disk on them as they come without it due to security reasons. We bought some on ebay for £10 each. And voila! we got 6 working laptops for £30 each :) So this second option is cheaper, but I do not recommend it if you don't have a Gerit around.

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